Entertainment

Legendary Singer Jay Traynor Dies at 70: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Jay Traynor Dead Dies Died Death RIP Jay and the Americans Singer Dead

(Facebook)

Legendary singer John “Jay” Traynor has died at the age of 70 after a battle with liver cancer. His death was announced by his friend Jay Siegel via Facebook:

Here’s what you need to know:


1. He Sang in Two Popular 60s Groups

Jay Traynor was the first leading singer of the Jay and the Americans. Prior to this, he had been the lead singer of the Mystics. His departure from the Americans is detailed on the band’s website:

With the success of “She Cried”, Jay and the Americans were booked on a continuous string of one niters. The constant travel and the failure of the next two singles, proved too much for Traynor. He started missing rehearsals and the guys thought he wanted to go solo. He admitted he had been thinking about it and the guys said “don’t think, we’ll go on without you” (Brooklyn Attitude) Actually it was a sad day for everyone involved. John Traynor”s solo career was less than it should have been.

Much of the band’s early material was produced by the legendary duo of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. The pair wanted Jay to become known as “Binky Jones” rather than “Jay” but eventually relented as Traynor made it clear he did not wish to be known as “Binky.”

Traynor was replaced in the Americans by “Jay Black.”

It’s alleged that the reason he was hired by The Mystics because he fit into their former lead singer’s costume. Later he was fired from the band after the group’s manager allegedly found Traynor rifling through his desk. The singer maintained he was looking for a publicity photo to pass along to a friend but was fired anyway.


2. He Was a New Yorker

He was a native of Brooklyn, New York. The Americans were discovered performing in venues around New York University during the 1950s. According to Traynor, he’d wanted to be a rock ‘n’ roll singer since seeing a band perform at his high school when he was 15. Like so many stars, Traynor’s career began by singing on the Subway for nickels with another group of individuals, collectively they were known as the Ab-Tones.


3. He Had a Successful Solo Career

He left the Americans in 1964 and began releasing solo records. His major hit as a solo artist was “Up & Over” which became a hit in the UK Northern Soul scene.


4. He Worked With The Who

Jay Traynor Dead Dies Died Death RIP Jay and the Americans Singer Dead

All Acceess

During the 1970s, he took a more “behind the scenes” role in music, working with bands such as The Who and Yes.


5. He Was Still Touring Up To 2012

Jay Traynor Dead Dies Died Death RIP Jay and the Americans Singer Dead

Traynor pictured in 2012. (Facebook)

In his later years he became a fan of big band music and Frank Sinatra, performing Sinatra songs with Joey Thomas Big Band. He released records and toured in this vain. Traynor also toured with The Tokens in 2012.

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